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35 Music Documentaries Worth Seeing 

August 29, 2013
This week, the latest music documentary -- One Direction: This is Us -- hits theaters. Director Morgan Spurlock spent three months on tour with the guys, whirling from Japan to Norway to Mexico, but doesn't seem to have asked them a single question besides, "How does it feel to be really, really popular?" Instead, he lumps them together like a box of chicken nuggets.

As an antidote, we present this collection of 35 music documentaries that are worth seeing.

Hey! Listen to the weekly Voice Film Club podcast and follow @VoiceFilmClub on Twitter.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

We know, we know, This Is Spinal Tap isn't actually a documentary (be careful calling it a "mockumentary" as well, Christopher Guest isn't especially fond of that term). But Spinal Tap's influence can't be dismissed. Most modern, straight music documentaries unknowingly (or knowingly?) steal narrative form, structure, and other storytelling devices from Spinal Tap, which works to increase how dead-on the satire is as time passes between viewings. It's no wonder members of famous bands (Aerosmith, U2, to name two) have said that This is Spinal Tap is too realistic to be funny; it's a sobering experience to find out that the art your life is imitating happens to be the funniest movie ever made. -- Nick Greene
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This week, the latest music documentary -- One Direction: This is Us -- hits theaters. Director Morgan Spurlock spent three months on tour with the guys, whirling from Japan to Norway to Mexico, but doesn't seem to have asked them a single question besides, "How does it feel to be really, really popular?" Instead, he lumps them together like a box of chicken nuggets.

As an antidote, we present this collection of 35 music documentaries that are worth seeing.

Hey! Listen to the weekly Voice Film Club podcast and follow @VoiceFilmClub on Twitter.
Published on August 29, 2013

Slideshows

  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • KISS @ The Forum
    KISS performed to a sold out house at The Forum on Tuesday night. Def Leppard opened up the night and KISS fans of all ages arrived decked in their best make-up. All photos by Timothy Norris.
  • Cher and Cyndi Lauper @ Staples Center
    Cher performed to a packed house at Staples Center on Monday night with her D2K Tour. Cyndi Lauper opened the night sounding as fresh as ever. All photos by Timothy Norris.

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